When I tell people my family's from El Paso, Texas, I get the same ol' tired response. "I've driven past there before," folks dismissively say. But if only they'd make a stop to grab something to eat, or even visit the city, how quickly they'd changed their tune! I just got back from Chuco myself for the first time in years and my stomach already feels empty; emotionally more than physically. There's so many heavy hitting Mexican restaurants to choose from in town that El Paso's waist size will match the growth of its population, too! My working theory is a simple one for the border town: Drawing from New Mexico chile harvests and Chihuahua's cattle industry, El Paso is well-positioned geographically to make culinary magic. During my recent stay, I hit as many spots as I could from Chico's Tacos to Carnitas Queretaro. I didn't even come close to eating at ALL my favorite places like El Taco Tote or ones I've never been to before that everybody in town raves about like Chopes in neighboring New Mexico's Mesilla Valley. Oh well, there's always next trip!
In the meantime, all the Tex-Mex and Mexi meals had me wondering why none of these restaurants have branched out to Orange County. How much closer to paradise OC would be if that ever came to pass? While I work off all the weight gained during my grubcation, here's a list of seven El Paso eateries I grubbed at that would make great additions to OC's food scene! And may the parade of yellow cheese offend the "authentic" Mexi food snobs to no end!
Read more on my latest OC Weekly Stick A Fork In It Blog post: